Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to Live

"How does one achieve peace of mind? On this latter point, Plutarch's advice was the same as Seneca's: focus on what is present in front of you, and pay full attention to it." - from How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer, by Sarah Bakewell

So, "Be Here Now" is not just a New Age philosophy, is it!

I've been reading Bakewell's biography of Michel de Montaigne, who was a self-examiner if ever there was one, and whose most common written statement might well have been "but I'm not sure."

A few bits, among the many, that struck me:

"Montaigne himself did not brood in his tower like a Gormenghast earl: he liked to be out walking."

"Easy conversation in trivial situations was valuable; it opened the path to deeper relationships, and to the more pleasant evenings where one could joke and laugh at ease."

"The only hope of emerging from the fog of misinterpretation is to remain alert to its existence: that is, to become wise at one's own expense."


Meanwhile, I'm going outside for a walk under the big sky.


  1. Yup! That's big sky country all right. Beautiful!

  2. How beautiful, and how reassuring, to see the sky like that. No matter in which direction I look, I see tall buildings. I knew that this goes with living downtown but every once in a while, it's a bit disconcerting.


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